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Jenna Bush Hager, Sharing Those Teaching Duties


Jenna, Laura, Barbara: The Bush women at the Kuwaiti embassy Friday. (Photo by Tony Powell)

When Jenna Bush went to work for a D.C. charter school, the third-grade class got more than the president's daughter -- it got "Miss Jenna's" boyfriend and sister, too. Turns out the rookie teacher roped in her nearest and dearest as class volunteers.

"I was there all the time," Barbara Bush told us. "The Friendship Ball is their big dance -- I did a lot of crafts for it -- and we supervised a lot of field trips."

The famous teacher's aides were a well-kept secret until Friday, when the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School celebrated its 10th anniversary at the residence of Kuwaiti Ambassador Salem Al-Sabah and his wife, Rima. Jenna and Mayor Adrian Fenty were honored, so Laura Bush dropped by and Henry Hager (taller than you might expect) stayed close to his bride of six months.

But it was Barbara -- the low-profile twin now living in New York -- who charmed the crowd and choked up when she presented the award to her sister. "When we were little, we were totally obsessed with playing school," she said, recalling the night they were in tears about who got to lead the class -- until their mom invented a game called "Teacher's Lounge," in which the twins would tell each other about imaginary students. Years later, Barbara became a regular in Jenna's real classroom: "Her enthusiasm got me, Henry and all our friends super excited about the school. ..... Needless to say, I'm very proud of my little twin sister."

The evening, said EWS volunteer Dede McClure (White House chief of staff Josh Bolten's sweetheart), was to showcase what's good about the District's beleaguered school system. Chancellor Michelle Rhee presented Fenty's award and cracked: "Usually when I'm standing in front of a crowd at 7:30 at night, I'm getting screamed at."

Jenna, now teaching in Baltimore, had nothing but praise for her first experience in a real teacher's lounge: "I may be slightly biased, but I don't think there's a greater school in D.C."

By The Reliable Source  |  October 27, 2008; 1:05 AM ET
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